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Effect of Toxoplasma gondii infection kinetics on trophoblast cell population in Calomys callosus, a model of congenital toxoplasmosis


Effect of Toxoplasma gondii infection kinetics on trophoblast cell population in Calomys callosus, a model of congenital toxoplasmosis



Infection and Immunity 70(12): 7089-7094



ISSN/ISBN: 0019-9567

PMID: 12438390

DOI: 10.1128/iai.70.12.7089-7094.2002

This work evaluated the kinetics of events that occur in the placenta of Calomys callosus after Toxoplasma gondii infection. Animals on the first day of pregnancy (dop) and virgin nonpregnant females were perorally infected with 20 cysts of T. gondii strain ME49. After 100 days of infection, the virgin animals were mated and received an additional 20 cysts on the first dop. The placentas and the embryos from both acutely and chronically infected animals were analyzed up to day 20 of pregnancy by morphological and immunocytochemical assays. Noninfected and infected animals exhibited placenta with normal morphology. From the seventh dop and infection onwards, liver and spleen cells of the infected animals contained several parasitophorous vacuoles. On the 13th day, the maternal blood present at the placental blood spaces contained T. gondii-infected leukocytes. Infected placental cells were only seen on the 15th dop, being the trophoblast giant cells, the first cell type to contain signs of the parasite internalization, followed by labyrinth zone cells 24 h later and spongiotrophoblast cells only after the 19th dop. Fetal liver and brain were infected by T. gondii concomitantly to the labyrinth cell infection. No signals of infection were observed on placentas and embryos from chronically infected animals. Therefore, considering the sequence of events leading to the infection of the various organs, it could be hypothesized that the placenta is infected later on during pregnancy, which may be related to the defense roles played by this structure. However, trophoblast giant cells are unable to completely stop the progression of T. gondii infection towards the fetal tissues. C. callosus was demonstrated to be a suitable experimental model to study the dynamics of congenital toxoplasmosis.

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